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Paheli for the Oscars

Staff Reporter

Amol Palekar has based the film on a folk tale

MUMBAI: Amol Palekar's Paheli has been chosen as India's official entry for the 2006 Academy Awards.

The film was chosen by a 10-member panel of the Film Federation of India from a range of films such as Nagesh Kukunoor's Iqbal, Ketan Mehta's Mangal Pande - The Rising, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Black, and Madhur Bhandarkar's Page 3.

Paheli is based on a folk tale called "Duvidha" by Vijayadan Detha. It is about a newly wed bride, Lachchi, who falls in love with an earnest and loving ghost after her husband, Kishen, leaves for expanding his father's business on the wedding night itself.

With Shahrukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment producing the film and Shahrukh Khan (ghost) and Rani Mukherji (Lachchi) playing the lead roles, the film was one of the major releases of the year.

It also had Amitabh Bachchan and Juhi Chawla in key roles.Mr. Palekar said he was extremely happy to hear the news. "I am extremely happy that the passion, interest and faith with which we made the film has been proven right."

Last year when Shwaas, a small budget Marathi film, which won the National Award, was chosen as India's official entry, Palekar himself had withdrawn his "Anahat." "I withdrew Anahat last year as I did not want two Marathi films to compete."

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